NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)– The founder of an LGBT-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade says the inclusive celebration will go on even though New York’s big St. Patrick’s Day parade up Fifth Avenue has dropped its ban on gay groups.

Brendan Fay founded St. Pat’s For All 17 years ago as an alternative to the Fifth Avenue parade, which banned LGBT groups from marching. Now that the ban’s been lifted, Fay said this could be the most joyful season for St. Patrick’s celebrations yet.

“No longer will we be hearing about the exclusion of LGBT people, but simply celebrating Irish culture together,” Fay told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini.

Fay said this year, St. Pat’s For All is focusing on diversity in all forms, with Puerto Rican, Korean, and other ethnic groups marching.

“The parade has come to reflect the diversity of the city really,” he told 880.

Fay says he expects 2,000 marchers at Sunday’s parade in Woodside, Queens.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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